IDOT holds open house on Route 13 expansion

IDOT holds open house on Route 13 expansion

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - Commuters and folks living in Illinois got their chance to look at plans that would ease traffic congestion on Illinois Route 13.

The plan is to expand a stretch of Illinois Route 13 between Giant City Road in Carbondale and Shawnee Trail in Carterville.The proposal would create a 6-lane corridor from Marion to Carbondale which IDOT officials say will address issues with economic development, safety and traffic mobility.

"He growth along the Route 13 corridor in the past 10 years has gone up so much," said Carbondale resident Nick Ginsburg. "I think this project would help us keep up with that growth. Because if we're bringing people and commerce in we need to also need to be bringing in the infrastructure requirements to better foster this growth."

At a public meeting in Carterville on Thursday, alternatives for expanding a 4-mile stretch of Illinois Route 13 were met with mixed reviews.

"This is the last piece between IL 37 in Marion and Carbondale that's not funded," said IDOT Program Development Engineer Carrie Nelsen. "So we're trying to get it ready so that if there's an opportunity for funding presents itself we'll be construction ready."

IDOT officials say the expansion to a 6-lane corridor on this portion of road would increase travel safety while reducing daily traffic congestion as an estimated 35,000 people travel this route.

But the proposal could cost between $35-$41 million depending which alternative is chosen.

"Cost can vary depending on what you want to build," said Nelsen. "That's why we're getting public input to see if that's what part of the public would like to see as part of the project."

Those alternatives include a bike trail, new light installations and crossroad intersections.

While it could be a boost to the local infrastructure and foster area commerce, one man who travels this road every day says he's not convinced the expansion is necessary.

"I think it's a worthwhile project to entertain I haven't looked at all the alternatives yet," said Herrin resident Scott Crist. "But I think there's probably concerns for no matter which alternative is chosen and I think some careful consideration and public involvement is important."

No timetable has been given as to when construction would begin because the project has no funding at this time.

But we know IDOT is using Thursday's public feedback to pick a preferred plan to be ready for construction when money is available.

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